Something Money Can't Buy

October 23, 2002

I find that I am in a bit of a quandary this morning. I know from the Comptroller's web site that my latest check was cut on the 18th, which was last Friday. Assuming that the state doesn't come into work on Saturday just to mail things in a timely fashion, it was mail on Monday. The man I subcontract through, therefore, should have it in hand no later than today. There is a good chance he had it yesterday. He is going to be out of the office starting this afternoon about 2, until Monday. So if he doesn't walk up to me before he leaves today and hand me a check the earliest I'll get it is next Monday, five days from now. Now, we don't need it immediately, but I don't like that it is starting to become a habit with him to take a week or more to process the check and pay me. I don't want to blaze into his office and attack him because he will only become defensive and then I won't get anywhere. I do want to inquire as to the status of my check. By saying all of this here I feel less out of control and better setup to approach him without making him defensive. I am not trying to take care of him, I just want to maximize the potential that I get what I want out of our discussion, which is my check. And an understanding that I don't appreciate the length of time it appears to be taking him to deposit the state check and pay me.

By stating the situation here I am clearer on what I want and need. I know that I need to ask him as to the status of my check. Depending upon his answer I am prepared to let him know the truth of how it feels to be unimportant enough to not get more timely treatment. Not attacking, not yelling, just plainly stating that it doesn't feel good to have to ask about my check. And that it feels even worse to have him say he hasn't had time to deal with it yet. It is hard for me to allow myself to say these things because I don't feel like I should. For me this is about confronting "dad" in a major way. As I say that I realize that I must have set this situation up for exactly that reason. Since the man I subcontract through hits several of my dad issues, having this check situation gives me the opportunity to grow past some of my fears about being a child around authority figures. I am afraid that he will get angry at me if I confront him about this check. Just like I am afraid of my father shutting me down when I try to confront him. I need to know going into his office what I am going to say and how I am going to say it. And I need to be strong enough to take care of little Mark when the pressure from outside tells him to be quiet. Always in the past I have been afraid to confront people like this because little Mark could never confront his father. I was always scared that he'd leave or stop taking care of me or something if I ever confronted him on anything. When I have contact with someone else who brings up my dad issues I get trapped by this fear of confrontation. Now I have created a situation where I have a legitimate reason to confront a person who feels like my dad in some situations. I need this so that I can start to move away from my default posture in this area. Getting paid today or next Monday isn't the real issue. Money never is the real issue. Being able to say, hey, having you delay my payment for no good reason doesn't feel good to me and I don't like it; that is the real situation here. I need to stand up for how I feel regardless of how the authority figure wants me to feel or act.

Now I am getting it. Now I feel much more like me. I don't care what he does. I don't care how he handles this situation. I don't want to build karma with the man over something this small. What I do care about is how I am treating me, how I am treating little Mark. I need to stand up and be heard, and I need to show little Mark that he isn't bad and that I am not upset with him. Then I will have gotten paid in a way that money can't buy.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.